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Former Neonate Stands Tall

Shirley Grothendick

Employee Clinton Grothendick has seen Baxter's commitment to developing life-saving and life-sustaining products up close following the premature birth of daughter Shirley.

A 10-year Baxter employee, Clinton Grothendick has seen Baxter’s commitment to developing life-saving and life-sustaining products up close – really close, in fact.

In 2013 Clinton and his wife Jane were expecting their second child, who was due to join them and their daughter Muriel over the summer. In April, though, a somewhat difficult pregnancy became something else entirely when they visited their obstetrician.

The appointment kicked off a series of events that the family wouldn’t wish on anyone. A rush trip to the local hospital was followed by Jane’s Flight for Life air transport to the regional neonatal intensive care unit in Rockford, Illinois, about 90 miles from the family’s home.

Despite doctors’ best efforts to delay delivery, Jane gave birth to a baby girl, Shirley, via emergency C-section. Born three months premature and weighing just one pound fourteen ounces, Shirley had an equally challenging road ahead. She endured a class II brain hemorrhage, PDA (hole in heart), sepsis, surgery and multiple blood transfusions. But amidst everything, Clinton’s employer Baxter was there – both literally and figuratively.

“When we saw her start moving and acting like herself again, especially after battling sepsis, our relief and joy was overwhelming. It was such a simple but amazing moment.”

— Clinton Grothendick
Baxter Employee, Father of Former Patient Shirley

During their time in the NICU, the family was rarely more than an arm’s length away from Baxter products. Whether it was total parenteral nutrition from Baxter’s compounding system, lipids or other products, it was a constant – and for Clinton, personal – reminder of Baxter’s commitment to lifesaving products. In addition, Baxter employees rallied around the family, offering meals, social calls and support throughout.

“Baxter truly is a great company,” says Clinton. “It’s made up of great people who make great products and share a commitment to saving lives. My family can attest to all of that first hand.”

Following her recovery from sepsis, Shirley underwent additional monitoring and tests before making it home by her original due date. The family celebrated in style with a “Zero Birthday Party.” Shirley’s health has continued to improve and she requires no special programs or developmental assistance. “When Shirley was having a tough time or she’d have a setback, it was heartbreaking,” says Clinton. “But when we saw her start moving and acting like herself again, especially after battling sepsis, our relief and joy was overwhelming. It was such a simple but amazing moment all wrapped into one – a moment we owe to so many people, including the people at Baxter.”